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Showing posts from August, 2017

SUDDENLY WE SEE THE "BANNERS OF DARKNESS"

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Hymns have been on my mind a bit lately as readers would have noticed.When I was a school child - Yes they had schools back then! -one of my favourite hymns contained words I always thought strange - then :


"              Oh purest of Creatures, Sweet Mother Sweet Maid;
The one spotless womb wherein Jesus was laid.
Dark night hath come down on us, Mother, and we
Look out for thy shining, Sweet Star of the Sea. (repeat)
Deep night hath come down on this rough-spoken world,
And the banners of darkness are boldly unfurled;
And the tempest-tossed Church--all her eyes are on thee;
They look to thy shining, Sweet Star of the Sea. (repeat) "

You have already spotted them? Yes : " And the banners of darkness are boldly unfurled" !
OK...It was the 1950s...didn't this kid recall anything about the Nazis, Imperial Japan, the Chinese communists, the Russians? Sure he did. But in his mind we had won the titanic World War II(as our Grandfathers and Fathers had WW I) and we would inevi…

VOCATIONS - CARDINAL PELL SUMMED IT UP SUCCINCTLY

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This Post first appeared on 24thMay, 2011. cardinal Pell could as easily have had in mind Broken Bay Diocese in those times under Bishop David Walker whose Episcopate produced one Ordination and ended with no vocations, and still it was to be 3 years before Bishop Peter A.Comensoli replaced him and the wheels began to turn again.

LOVE ITS CENTRALITY

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We have been considering  LOVE and the issues surrounding it. Here, we establish its position in catholic life.
Recurringly in his Gospel and his other writings, St.John leaves of his narrative, for a major reflection on the meaning of the Life of Christ, and the significance of aspects of it


In his Gospel , ( 3:16) he opens up the subject of God's Love:
For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not condemned; he who does not believe in Him is condemned already, because he has not believed in the Name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgement, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the Light,because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the light,and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he wh…

LOVE, TOLERANCE AND LABELS

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The words of Our Lord Jesus Christ are of critical importance for mankind - this is God Himself speaking directly to Man. So that when He gives us a command we have no more important thing to do.But did He do that?

" A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another." And the Lord goes on to say : " By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." (John 13:34)

That is crystal clear.

But in the modern Western world an alternative is proposed and generally accepted unthinkingly because it has become " politically correct" . TOLERANCE is the civic ideal. But we need to remember that mere tolerance is NOT a Christian Virtue. Love is what is expected of us , for as we are told, where there is Love , there is God for"God is Love"( 1 John 4:8).

What is the nature of the " Love" proposed? Saint Thomas  Aquinas tells us that Love means wanting …

LOVE ALWAYS GIVES ITSELF TO THE BELOVED

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LOVE
DOES NOT WITHDRAW ITSELF
BUT ALWAYS GIVES TO THE TRULY BELOVED

During the holy season of Lent, the subject of Love is continuously brought to our attention. God's Love for us, our love for Him, and our love for one another.
Many people scorn the "Social Media" e.g. Facebook some of the same folk also disdain the Internet!
But this morning I noticed a Post on Facebook by a young African Seminarian from Nigeria with whom I have occasional contact. It is beautiful and shines from the goodness of his soul and heart : "
I have so much Love in and around me!
I was fashioned out of LOVE
I breath in LOVE and breath out LOVE
I act in and out of LOVE
And I know my earthly mission will only come to an end as a fulfilment of this same LOVE
It is this same LOVE we celebrate today.... The LOVE upheld by the New Testament,
The Love that is boundless,
The LOVE that breaks no heart
The LOVE that is ever faithful...
The Love I have for U all."



 UMEH, ALPHONSUS What a good and holy Priest h…

MUSIC AND THE LITURGY -"catholic" IS NOT ENOUGH

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We have previously noted the always pertinent writings of Father Shelton in the United States. Recently he drew attention to a core issue relating to music and the Liturgy :

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"Would You Rather Sing at Mass, or Hear Gregorian Chant?"via Father Shelton by Father Shelton on 7/9/12
Yes, those of you who love the Roman liturgical tradition will be right in noting that this is a strange question, but it is one which I saw posted on the U.S. Bishops' official news service (CNS)Facebook page last year, and one which I think many Catholics of the Latin Church might ask. Let's take a closer look at the question.
First, we should know that Gregorian chant is a means of singing sacred texts, especially Biblical ones, in a manner that facilitates meditation (it slows down liturgical proclamation), increases audibility (as opposed to shouting a recited text), 'plucks the strings' of our emotions (rather than just engaging our intellects), and does so without need of alte…

"LOOK WHAT THEY DONE TO MY SONG. MA!"

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"Look what they done to my song, Ma !"

The pop song from the Vietnam War era, was sung in a raw voice by a  young woman - Wikipedia tells me it was Melanie Safka , but the lyrics are the lament of a young soldier, in spirit ,appealing to his mother as his body is removed from the battlefield - the "song"is his life:

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Well its the only thing I could do half right 
And its turning out all wrong,  Ma...

And I think I'm half insane, Ma
Look what they've done to my song...

Well they tied it up in a plastic bag 
And turned it upside down , Ma....

Look what they've done to my song."

Whatever view one might have of the "anti - War"movement - as if many support War for its own sake - the song and its imagery were, and are, powerfully moving.

The sad events of recent days for the Australian Armed Forces serving in Afghanistan, brought it to my mind. We grieve for the fallen heroes and pray for the repose of their souls, and we remember also their mou…